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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'My Wife Begins to Rave' and "The Rochester Lass."

Date: 1845 - 1849
Overall: 250 x 192 mm, 0.029 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017448
Place Manufactured:London

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    Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'My Wife Begins to Rave' and "The Rochester Lass."
    SignificanceBroadsheets were designed as printed ephemera to be published and distributed rapidly. This also meant they were quickly disposed of with many of them not surviving the test of time. The museum's broadsheet collection is therefore a rare and valuable example of how maritime history was communicated to a wide audience, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. They vibrantly illustrate many of the themes and myths surrounding life at sea. Some of them also detail stories about transportation, migration.

    Oh! my wife begins to rave,
    If I ever get drinking deep,
    And she says that I ought to save,
    For the babies I've got to keep,
    I'm a man with large family,
    And they keep me confoundedly poor,
    Oh! give me a night on the fly,
    One jolly flare up once more.


    There's one thing I really cant stand,
    She talks of the blessing of home,
    Putsa nakin into my hand
    And wonders I rwish to roam,
    When I'm longing for peace and quiet,
    I must have the young twins on my kneww
    While the rest makes a thundering riot,
    Its a regular Oh and P---.
    My wife &c.

    If I'm out, she will wait up for me,
    And one night when I poend the door,
    With a friend, I had made rater free,
    And I tumbled slap down on the floor,
    And she said you low minded villian,
    You go out, and guzzle, and feast,
    While your poorwife can't lay by a shilling,
    You nasty drunken beast.
    My wife &c.

    I get in a duce of a stew;
    But to night my cares I'll drown,
    Have one jolly hour with you,
    Tho I feel, I shall soon be done brown,
    And the song of my heart shall be,
    Tho some folks may think it loose,
    Live single, flare up,and be free,
    A wife soon cook your goose;
    My wife &c.

    Broadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.

    The publication of ballads was part of the commemoration and production of material about shipwrecks. Ships were part of the everyday life in the 19th century and stories about their voyages, wrecks, record breaking voyages and commissions often featured in newspapers and commemorative souvenirs.
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